Several Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD students earned their dream pair of shoes this summer with a little hard work and community service. These students spent their break participating in Make it Count’s summer enrichment program. This local charitable organization, formerly known as Bea’s Kids, provides educational and personal development programs to children in CFBISD.
"It was heartwarming to see the student's faces as they opened their bags," said Katrina Spottsville, CFBISD community relations coordinator. "They were so excited to see what their hard work earned them."
At the beginning of the program, students were individually asked for their favorite style of tennis-shoes. They chose popular brands such as Nike, Adidas, Jordans and even Crocs, a surprising favorite amongst the group.
“In the past, we simply gifted the shoes,” said Mari Rubio, executive director of Make it Count. “Beginning in 2022, we wanted our students in the program to learn an even better lesson, the power of hard work and the importance of giving back to their community. Our students earned points throughout the summer that converted to dollar amounts towards their shoes of choice. The kids received points by participating in service projects, maintaining good attendance and showing kindness to others.”
Projects during the program included flower planting, re-stocking shelves at Metrocrest Services, serving lunches to senior citizens, making gift bags for local businesses and more.
“The children took on a sense of ownership,” Rubio said. “They were very intentional throughout the camp.”
Participating students and community partners were invited to Brookhaven Country Club to enjoy a special luncheon and celebrate the end of the program. The lunch consisted of lessons about manners and self-control, while students engaged in fun conversations around the table. The event concluded with every child getting to open up their brand-new shoes they had worked for all summer.
“We found that this project was so rewarding for the kids and it made the luncheon much more meaningful,” Rubio said. “It is so important to invite kids to explore their communities and teach them to give back.”
To learn more about Make it Count’s summer program, and to see their other charitable initiatives, please visit their website.